Ways of Divine Love - Narada's Aphorisms on Devotion

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Commandments (Sutra 74-82)
Before  concluding his exposition on Bhakti, Narada lays down some do’s and don’ts as  follows for the guidance of the devotee so that he may not lose track in his  spiritual journey.
 
No controversy is to be entered into. Vain discussion on spiritual matters  should be avoided because there is plenty of room for diversity in views and no  one view, based upon mere reason, is conclusive in itself.

1. The teachings of the scriptures that promote devotion  should be constantly contemplated upon and actions that   kindle devotion should  be performed.
2. When one has given up pleasure and pain, desire,  gain and such other mundane considerations and is in a state of high  preparedness, even a single moment should not be allowed to go waste. 
3. All the time available should be spent on  meditation alone. 
4. Virtues like non-violence, truth, purity,  compassion, faith in the-scriptures and in the existence of God, and other  excellences of character should be cultivated and protected. 
5. One should be vigilant and alert to avoid  getting trapped by the animal in oneself.
The Lord alone should be worshipped whole-heartedly free from all cares and anxieties  all the time. 

Being thus  invoked, The Lord manifests Himself and blesses His devotees with Realisation.  Narada asserts that among the three eternal truths devotion is the greatest.  The three eternal truths are Jnana, Karma and Bhakti. God is love, goodness and  truth. God is experienced by the Bhakta as love, by the Karma Yogin as goodness  and by the Jnana Yogin as truth and according to the author the first is  superior to the others.
This section comes to an end with the statement that although Divine Love is in  itself one only, it manifests itself in the following eleven forms viz.

  1. Love  of glorification of Lord’s blessed qualities.
  2. Love  of his enchanting beauty.
  3. Love  of his worship.
  4. Love  of his constant remembrance.
  5. Love  of his service.
  6. Love  of him as a friend.
  7. Love  of him as a son or child.
  8. Love  for him as that of wife or a husband.
  9. Love  of self-surrender to him.
  10.Love of complete  absorption in him and
  11.Love of  pain of separation from him.

Conclusion (Sutra 83-84)
Narada concludes  his dissertation on Bhakti by referring to the names of principal teachers in  the realm of devotion such as Sanatkumara, Vyasa, Suka, Sandilya, Garga etc.,  who hold the same view as Sage Narada on this subject and thereby reinforces  his own analysis. He who believes and has faith in these propitious teachings  expounded by Narada becomes endowed with Bhakti and realizes his most beloved,  the Lord.
   

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